Four purified cellulases, a xylanase and mannanase from Trichoderma reesei were used to treat never-dried bleached pine kraft pulp prior to refining, and the effects on pulp properties were evaluated. The enzymatic treatments hydrolysed up to 0.8% of pulp dry weight. The results demonstrated that the individual cellulases have profoundly different modes of action in modifying pulp carbohydrates. This is especially clear when comparing their effects at the same level of hydrolysis. Pretreatment with cellobiohydrolases I (CBH I) and II (CBH II) had virtually no effect on the development of pulp properties during refining, except for a slight decrease in strength properties. On the contrary, endoglucanase I (EG I) and endoglucanase II (EG II) improved the beatability of the pulp as measured by Schopper--Riegler value, sheet density and Gurley air resistance. Of the endoglucanases, EG II was most effective in improving the beating response. The combinations of CBH I with EG I and EG II had similar effects on the pulp properties as the endoglucanases alone, although the amount of hydrolysed cellulose was increased. Pretreatments with xylanase or mannanase did not appear to modify the pulp properties. The same enzyme treatments which improved the beatability, however, slightly impaired the pulp strength, especially tear index at the enzyme dosages used. When compared at a given level of cellulose hydrolysis, the negative effect of EG II on strength properties was more pronounced compared with EG I. Thus, the exploitation of cellulases for fibre treatments requires careful optimization of both enzyme composition and dosage. Since the endoglucanases had no positive effect on the development of tensile strength, it is suggested that the explanation for the increased beating response is increased fibre breakage and formation of fines, rather than improved flexibilization.